Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center have finally found enough evidence that a strong tropical wave that crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Africa is now strong enough and organized enough to be given a name as a tropical storm.

The name is Isaias and yes, you will hear it pronounced a lot of different ways. But the official Hurricane Center pronunciation is [ees-ah-EE-ahs]. Say these words together really quickly [ease uh EE us], you'll be close enough. Most of us will just call it "that new tropical storm".

Isaias is currently located less than 100 miles from the coast of Puerto Rico. The storm was moving quite rapidly, 18 mph which is fast for a tropical system, to the northwest. Rain bands are already affecting Puerto Rico early this morning.

The track forecast from the Hurricane Center puts quite a formidable foe in front of Isaias, namely the island of Hispanola. There are some rather high mountains on that island this is home to the Dominican Republic and the country of Haiti. That high elevation could impede the progress and strengthening of the storm.

Should Isaias move past the peaks of Hispanola then the state of Florida would be in the cone of uncertainty. Although more and more of the reliable tropical model guidance suggests the system will bypass the peninsula to the east. That would be wonderful thing for Florida but not such good news for the Bahamas.

Current intensity forecasts do not bring Isaias up to hurricane strength by the time it might be interacting with the United States mainland this weekend. The official Hurricane Center forecast calls for winds to max out at 65 mph, about 10 mph less than the wind speed needed to be designated a hurricane.

As of now, Isaias poses no threat to the Louisiana coastline.


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